Instant Gratification Issues: I just bought 4 chicks!


Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
Most of the local feed stores around here have stopped selling chicks. I planned on ordering just four chicks from MPC, but a co-worker said he bet there were still chicks available "somewhere." So, after 7 phone calls, I found a feed store that stocks LOTS of various kinds of chicks through October.

On my lunch break, I drove 16 miles to see what they had.... was gonna need to get a heat lamp, litter, feed, etc., anyway, and if all looked good I'd come back this weekend for the chicks.

OMG. I am lucky I stopped at four! There were nearly 20 huge troughs of chicks, separated by breed and gender. Some breeds had several which were a week or two old, mixed with that day's new delivery of 2-day old chicks. I'm standing over one trough when the nice young, male employee - wearing a cowboy hat - walked over. "They're so darned CUTE!" I enthused. "If you say so," he replied. "I know, they're just chickens to you." He nodded.

So, after he asked me if I wanted them for pets (I said, "Layers," but admitted they would also be pets), he suggested two breeds of the four I'd already pretty much decided I wanted: RIR, and Plymouth Rock Barred. I asked if there were any Easter Eggers or Ameraucanas; they had the latter. Then he suggested a Brahma, because they're friendly, extremely good layers and cold & heat hardy. There were only 2-day old chicks in that bin, because they sell out fast.

So I came home with all the supplies I needed and four little peepers in a Peet's Coffee cardboard box. (I had to call work to take the rest of the day off.)

The little Brahma can hold her own amidst the somewhat older other 3 chicks. The RIR is adorable (I'll call her Rhoda), the Ameraucana is the leader in each feed pecking and water drinking session, and the Plymouth Barred does more scratch dances in the brooder box than the others do. Right now, anyway.

So, tell me this: do I understand I can feed food OTHER than - that is, in addition to - the chick starter feed? I thought it was just the starter feed for six weeks (I read the instructions on the 50 lb bag I bought).

By the way, the tractor/coop should be done by the October 12th, just before I go on vacation for a month. So I can stay at home and watch my new fuzz-butts all day long!
I made a comment in TSC one day about how cute the chicks were and the guys that worked there looked at me like I was dumb or something.

My family thinks I am a little strange because I enjoy chickens. They are the cutest things. Especially when they follow you around.

Many people think you should feed baby chow until 20 weeks. With a 50 lb bag, it will probably last that long. Yeah, you can give them some little treats, but remember that they have to have grit to digest anything but the feed. If they are going into a tractor, you could "teach" them by digging up clumps of weeds or grass, dirt included, and let them scratch around in that. Also be aware that they would normally leave mama around week 5-6, so they will be really active and wanting to run all over the place and fly all over your house if you don't have their grown-up quarters ready.

omg I thought I was bad!

You have certainly come to the Wrong Place if you think you're going to stick with JUST four chickies.

Chopped broccolli, a little bit at a time, will go over very well with babies. And meal worms are pretty popular, and you sound like you're fool enough -- I mean, you sound devoted enough to pay out for meal worms and stuff like that.

And read BYC. Daily. If you're about to be on vacation you can do BYC all you want. But remember to pay attention to the chickies, too.
Well, "FuzzButt" the Brahma didn't make it.

So I went back to the feed store last Friday and bought four more chicks: Australorp, Black Sex Link, Buff Orpington, Silver Laced Wyandotte.

I wanted all different breeds so I could tell 'em apart. (I'm that new to chickens...)

Here's the whole list in the brooder: Hillary the Ameraucana/EE (top of pecking order), Rhoda the RIR, Rebecca the Plymouth Rock - Barred, Mathilda the Australorp, Buffy the Orpington
, Greta the Black Sex Link, and Lacey the SLW. (I never claimed to have THAT much imagination.)

Mathilda was probably a little over a week old when I got them, so the last 3 are now just a week old and so much smaller than is she. And, certainly, they are ALL much smaller than the first 3 I got. Those girls are almost chickens (as I tell them every time I enter the "nursery" - which is my bathroom, where I've got their brooder).

The feed store was out of Brahmas, or I would have "replaced" FuzzButt with another of the same breed. Oh well. I think I've got a good mix of nice, docile pullet chicks. Hillary is already flying to the top edge of the brooder and roosting there. She sidles down the edge closer to me, but doesn't particularly like me to touch her. She just scoots away a couple of inches and watches me.

Everybody else squawks like the dickens when I pick 'em up, but settle down calmly in my hands. I think I'm a doting mother hen - and have given everybody mealworms twice already, PLUS two worms I found in my garden. (Plus a small amount of construction sand for grit after those meals.)

And the coop is all ready for them. I think I've got 3 more weeks for the bigger girls and five weeks for the little peepers.
just wait until you start looking for mates and then eggs and then incubators and you have to go to the store to BUY eggs to eat. lol

in august my son wanted some we went to my friends house and got 4 and 2 ducks. then i went to my first swap, and now i have 7 and 2 ducks.....outside.

my son went back to new jersey, and i have 1 incubator with 41 eggs, 5 new babies from yesterday and today, 8 i'm picking up saturday already bigger babies, 6 on hold at a friends house until i can get there, and my other friend is incubating another 24 eggs that i didn't have room for.

if you thought the chicks were cute, you're hooked.

edited because i forgot the 11 ee's already hatched and the 5 leghorns in the brooders
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